HBO, Cinemax Join Amazon Channels1 Dec, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel
As expected, HBO and sister premium pay-TV channel Cinemax are joining Amazon Channels, the e-commerce giant’s one-stop shop marketing third-party over-the-top video services to its Prime members.
Prime members receive a 30-day free trial and then pay $14.99 per month thereafter for access to all HBO series, original films, miniseries, sports, documentaries and specials, in addition to a wide selection of theatrical movies.
Cinemax is available for $9.99 per month (after 30-day free trial) featuring original series such as “The Knick,” “Quarry,” “Outcast,” “Banshee” and “Strike Back,” among others. Cinemax movies include Warner's American Sniper, Mad Max: Fury Road and Vacation as well as Universal Pictures' Pitch Perfect 2, Trainwreck and Jurassic World.
For a fee and/or revenue-sharing agreement, Amazon Channels handles billing and customer service, in addition to technical support.
“For years now, Amazon has demonstrated an incomparable capability for bringing customers exactly what they want, in all the ways they want it,” Sofia Chang, EVP of worldwide digital distribution and home entertainment at HBO, said in a statement.
Indeed, Amazon has long marketed HBO and Cinemax DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases, including “Game of Thrones,” a perennial top-selling packaged-media title.
“We have a very successful partnership with this great company that continues to evolve. We share the goal of providing Amazon customers more ways to access all of the high-quality HBO and Cinemax programming they’ve been asking for,” Chang said.
With 80 third-party OTT video services available, Amazon Channels (formerly Amazon Streaming Partners Program) includes access to major media brands as well as lesser knowns such as Cinedigm’s Dove Channel, RLJ Entertainment’s Acorn TV and Urban Movie Channel, Liongate’s Comic-Con HQ, NBC Universal’s comedy service Seeso and Sundance Now, among others.
Earlier this year in a keynote at the National Association of Broadcasters Show (NAB 2016) in Las Vegas, Michael Paull, VP of digital video at Amazon, said Amazon Channels wants to emulate the success Amazon has partnering with traditional retailers selling myriad merchandise online.
“In my mind, once you have the consumer, even if the intent is ‘I’m going to binge watch this show and exit,’ if you use the data to present other shows that they want to watch, they’ll stay,” Paull said. “I think as programmers, our job is to make sure that people are getting value for the money they are spending and my experience has been if you treat your customers well if you provide great value, they will stay with you.”